News / Europe

Ukraine Complains No Help From Europe in Russia Gas Dispute

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
x
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
Reuters
Ukraine complained on Wednesday that it had received little or no support from European countries in its face-off with Russia over the price of its gas imports and a $7 billion Russian bill.

The dispute dramatically escalated last month when Russia's gas giant Gazprom sent the bill to Kiev to cover gas it says Ukraine was under contract to buy last year, but never took.

Though Ukraine's ties with the European Union are equally strained, President Viktor Yanukovich indicated on Wednesday he had all the same been seeking support from Europe in the confrontation with Russia.

Ukraine relies heavily on Russian gas to heat homes and fuel the industrial sector. Kiev says the current gas supply deal that was negotiated in 2009, however, sets an exorbitant price for the fuel at $430 per thousand cubic metres in the current quarter.

The Kiev government, in months of negotiations, has failed to persuade Moscow to lower the price. Russia has said that a price reduction is in the cards only if Ukraine joins a Russia-led Customs Union or relinquishes control of its gas pipeline network system.

Gas pricing disputes between Kiev and Moscow came to world attention in January 2006 when supplies to western European customers were halted. A dispute over gas prices - Ukraine then paid just $50 per 1,000 cubic metres and Russia's Gazprom wanted to charge $230 - was complicated by accusations of corruption in the energy sector from then Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"In the past three years we have had no support, even sympathy in the issues of the gas force majeure relations Ukraine has had,'' Yanukovich told a news conference after meeting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

"When Russia presented us with a bill of $7 billion in penalties we hoped that we would get some comments on this from the European Energy Community,'' he added, referring to a cooperation body for EU and neighbor non-EU states.

"We repeatedly sent letters about this to the European Energy Community. Not once did we get a reply and this is a problem,'' he said.

Ukraine and the 27-member bloc have initialed a blueprint for political association and free trade to set Ukraine on a course for integration into the European mainstream.

The EU is at odds with Yanukovich over the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, though, and is refusing to take relations further and sign the agreement.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse-of-office meted out in October 2011 after a trial that the West said smacked of selective justice by the Yanukovich leadership.

The EU and Ukraine are due to hold a summit on February 25 when Kiev wants to resurrect the deals that have been put onto the back burner.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid